KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — It was hot, humid and his putts were lipping out. Tiger Woods felt as if he’d been run over halfway through his first round in Malaysia since winning the 1999 World Cup on the same course.
The 14-time major winner rallied, making five birdies on the back nine Thursday for a 5-under 66 that left him three strokes behind leader Troy Matteson in the CIMB Classic. Matteson had eight birdies in his 63 to take a one-stroke lead over fellow Americans Jeff Overton, Brian Harman and Robert Garrigus.
Woods, in the last pairing with Australia’s Marcus Fraser, birdied Nos. 3 and 5, but missed two short par putts at the eighth and ninth and seemed frustrated, frequently wiping his face and neck with a white towel and glaring after the balls that didn’t drop in the cup.
He rallied with birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 and added three more on Nos. 15-17.